A Massachusetts mayor has described the continuing influx of migrants to the state as “not sustainable” and is calling for a change to the state’s shelter-in-place law.
Wolburn Mayor Scott Galvin (D) who has been in office for seven terms and is seeking re-election to the office of mayor described the state’s shelter-in-place law as having been “passed at a different time” and called for a change, according to the New York Times.
“We’re going above and beyond, while some communities around us are not being impacted, and we don’t have endless capacity in our schools,” Galvin told the outlet.
The Democratic mayor of a Massachusetts city is urging lawmakers to reform a “right-to-shelter” law that is straining the area as thousands of migrant families arrive. https://t.co/fyz0aWz88C
— National Review (@NRO) September 12, 2023
“The benefits that are bestowed on migrants make the state a very attractive destination,” Galvin continued, adding that without changes, “this challenge is not going to abate.”
To date, Massachusetts is the only state that allows families with children to have the right to find a place to stay, under certain criteria.
Families must be residents of Massachusetts, must have a gross family income at or below 115% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines, and either be pregnant or have children under the age of 21, according to the Massachusetts government website.
Additionally, families may be deemed eligible if they are homeless due to a natural disaster, flood, house fire, or foreclosure, if they are trying to get away from domestic violence, or if children are being exposed to a substantial health or safety risk, according to the website.
At the beginning of August, Massachusetts Gov. Maura Healey (D) declared a state of emergency in order to address the record numbers of migrant families taking part in the state’s shelter-in-place system.
As of Aug. 7, the state had been helping roughly 5,550 families or roughly 20,000 people. This number rose to almost 6,300 families being served, costing the state roughly $45 million each month, according to the NYT.
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